Ruined (Ruined #1)

 
4.0
 
4.2 (3)
1899 0
Ruined (Ruined #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 01, 2009
ISBN
0545042151
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A gripping YA supernatural novel set in New Orleans: TWILIGHT with a ghostly twist.

Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her aunt. And at the snooty prep school, the filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city. There's just one catch: Lisette is a ghost.

A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle.

As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend -- and as she slowly learns to trust Anton Grey -- she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?


If you love classic ghost stories with lush settings and lyrical language, read Ruined by Paula Morris.

When Rebecca arrives in New Orleans, the town is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Her Aunt Claudia makes her living reading tarot cards in the French Quarter, and she dresses for the role as well as lives it. Rebecca finds a gris gris bag as well as many other objects intended to ward off evil in her new room, and everything is uncomfortable and strange at once. Just like New Orleans, Rebecca comes to learn that her life is both deeply rooted in history and the magic of the present.

And just across the street from her new home lies Lafayette Cemetery.

Ruined is rich in well-researched New Orleans history, and not just the kind you read about in textbooks. There are secret societies, graves, danger, Mardi Gras, more danger, more secrets, romance and dont forget the ghost. Morris does an excellent job with setting and pace, and keeps the mystery a mystery until the very end.

Highly Recommended

Four of Five Stars
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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.0  (3)
Characters 
 
4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
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I like it, a good ghost story.
(Updated: January 24, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I love it when YA’s have settings that are damaged in some way, and Ruined was in no shortage of that. Ruined is set in New Orleans, the Garden District to be exact, which is where Rebecca Brown it sent to stay after her father leaves on business. From the minute she arrives her new life is shrouded in mystery. Along the way she meets a ghost, discovers secrets, and finds out that not everything around her is as it seems.
Although the book lacked a few minor things, that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of it. Ruined was the kind of book that I like to read over and over again, each time I discover something I missed the first time.
Good Points
The setting was described perfectly. I liked that it wasn’t lacking in description, and had enough detail so I could visualize it. The plot was haunting and mysterious. It made for a good ghost story.
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Ruined by Paula Morris
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
It is not often that I read a "ghost story" and truly love it. The only other book that grabbed me this way about an ethereal being was Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (and reading this book made me want to re-read Niffenegger's book because it was just so good!).

Ruined, by Paula Morris, is a great read!

I find I'm a a little behind the curve in writing about this book, though. It was published August 1, 2009. Whoops! I bought it at the book fair last year and just got around to turning the pages. It starts slow, but once you're in - you're in!

Book Description via Amazon.com:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her aunt. And at the snooty prep school, the filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city. There's just one catch: Lisette is a ghost.

A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle.

As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend -- and as she slowly learns to trust Anton Grey -- she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?
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The description gives it more of a teen angst feel than the book truly has. It is a YA novel, but it is steeped in historical fiction of Mardi Gras in Louisiana. That is what I loved the most about this book. Morris, originally from New Zealand, really captured the essence and the pride of this landmark state putting her own dynamic flair to "old money" in the deep deep south.

Her lead character Rebecca is a strong female protagonist that does NOT give into the social pressures of her high society new school. She maintains a true identity throughout, and an open mind. Never once do you doubt the realness of her intentions, nor do you doubt the faith she has in her friend that is a ghost. This makes you attach to her character closely, not wanting to see her hurt, or lost or betrayed. I found myself becoming defensive and annoyed with the other characters in the book when they weren't as strong as Rebecca. But, I'm sure Morris intended her readers to get mad at Anton a few times, after all - he is the requisite love interest.

As a true "spooky" book, Morris had me. At every turn I was never quite sure what was going to happen - was Lisette real? Was she honest? Was she lying? What secrets did she hold? The drama infused between Lisette, her past, her familial connections kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the reading. I had no idea what to believe until the very end and even then, it's so well portrayed that you find yourself just staring into the pages of the book.

I would highly recommend this read. It's fairly short, 309 pages, and would appeal mostly to middle school age and up. If you like history interwoven with fiction, this is a book for you!
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I loved it and I hated it!
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by GirlwiththeBraids


Since her father has a business trip to China, Rebecca is sent away to live with a family friend in New Orleans for the next six months. Spending time away from her friends and the gossip in New York doesnt seem too appealing. Especially when she has to spend it with the odd gothic Claudia that plays with Tarot cards for a living. When Rebecca meets the arrogant snobs of Temple Mead Academy, she is instantly on their bad side. Except for the attractive Anton Grey who seems to be interested in her but is sadly unavailable. After wandering into the cemetery one night, Rebecca comes across Lisette, a ghost only she can see. And it seems Lisette has been waiting over a hundred years to get the revenge she longs for.


Ruined is perfectly paced and has a constantly intriguing storyline. I wasnt attached to any of the characters and they lack personality. I was going back and forth I hate this book! I love this book! It repeated Rebeccas thoughts too much when all I wanted was to dive deeper. Its amazing how author Paula Morris kept the story going with so few settings. This book is packed with a lot of interesting historic info without being overly descriptive. It introduced me to the New Orleans I never knew. It had a huge twist I didnt see coming that made me gasp out loud. I wasnt fully satisfied with the ending because the feel didnt fit the rest of the story. Youd have to be very patient to read this book but over all I think its worth the read.

Contains:
*satanic arts
*brief gruesome description

Recommended for ages 13+

For more book reviews, visit ReadingtoMyself.blogspot.com!

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